More and more of our partners have been asking for a mobile application so they can post Akvo Really Simple Reporting (RSR) project updates directly from mobile phones during field visits. Well, we’ve been working on exactly that and I’m pleased to tell you it’s now ready for beta testing by our team, with a view to being introduced to the first testing partner, Connect4Change, over the coming month.

The Akvo RSR Update app is an Android phone app that makes it easy to post text and photo updates directly to Akvo RSR. Users log into RSR in the app, just like they do from the web. They are then able to update to the projects associated with their organisation.

This means registered users will be able to provide mobile on-the-ground updates directly to the Akvo RSR system. It will involve an easy to use interface, geo-tagged updates, and good operation in areas with limited power and connectivity.

You can follow the update stream as it happens on this Akvo RSR Update App test page, which is specifically dedicated to the testing of the update app.

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We’ve assembled a team of 7x internal testers, who have all been briefed to start posting updates in various situations. These include Francis Warui, Andrew Molo and Luuk Diphoorn in East Africa, Joy Ghosh and Isha Parihar in India, Aulia Rahman in Indonesia and Anna-Marthe Sessink in Amsterdam. They’ll be liaising and reporting back, via the app’s feedback button, to the developers – myself, Stellan Lagerstrom and Loïc Sans.

Within this two-week round, we will get real user experience from Akvo’s key people working in the field, to make sure the App performs properly. The app will be tested by different users, working on different phones in different environments. So if everything goes well, there will be a good stream of mobile updates coming through that can be followed on the test page.

After this stage of internal testing, we will first introduce the app within the Connect4Change consortium who will help us to examine and refine how the app fits into their project training, visiting and reporting processes. From around April the Akvo RSR Update App will be made available for the public in the Google Play store.

Adrian Collier is the product manager for Akvo RSR, based in Amsterdam. Graphics by Charmer-Leunissen.